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Israel & Judaism through a Fresh Lens
Israel & Judaism through a Fresh Lens
WhatsApp Image 2017-11-07 at 13.35.30.jpeg

Three Simple Rules: Context, Context and Context

I just got a whatsapp from one of my students. It included the following picture of a note posted on the wall at Brandeis:

WhatsApp Image 2017-11-07 at 13.35.30.jpeg

Below I'm posting what I wrote back, as I thought it might be interesting to others. (Its a bit of a "stream of consciouness" flow, but that's what happens on whatsapp) 

"the claim against Israel trys to paint Israel as a classic colonialst stealing resources. However you will notice that according to their document the situation exists because of Oslo and was agreed upon by Palestinians and Israelis.

Why would the Palestinians agree to this? Because it included that they invest in building their own water infrastructure with help from US and Germany. But they haven't done that.


Because instead of the PA investing in building a modern country with self sustaining infrastructure, they built an autocratic corrupt bureaucracy and then launched a war, the 2nd intafada, instead of coming to a final agreement with Israel. In comes stagnation and things got frozen including water agreements electricity etc.. all the infrastructure they never built or invested in.

When a leader came who tried to shift the focus to building infrastructure and creating the mechanisms of a state, Salam Fayyad, he was eventually ousted.

Is this terrible for the Palestinian on the ground? Yes. It's easy to blame Israel and paint the picture of the big bad colonialist responsible for all the problems and the poor Palestinian victims. Then you have a nice narrative of bad guy with power and weak guy who is powerless. And even better since one group is indigenous and one is European.

However, if you look at this as two legitimate indigenous Nations, who have a political conflict, and both sides are responsible for their decisions, then it becomes more complex. No longer can one side solve the problem on the macro or micro level.

Assuming Israel has all the power and can solve all the problems without the Palestinians is actually the core of the problem. It's Western paternalism at it's best. Two peoples and one conflict can only be resolved when both sides take responsibility for solving the problem."

Or, in other words, I have three rules when it comes to interpreting most anti-Israel propoganda:

  1. Context
  2. Context
  3. Context

Note: There is still cooperation going on here, and it is often underreported. On January 15, 2017, the parties signed an agreement to restart the Israeli–Palestinian Joint Water Committee. For more information, see: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/overview-of-israel-palestinian-water-issue 



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